Just For Kids Home Video, of Woodland Hills, California, has bought the North American home video rights for Ketchup and The Toothbrush Family, two animated titles produced by Australia’s Southern Star Entertainment. The five-year distribution agreement marks the first time the two companies have come together on a project.
Ketchup is a cartoon series featuring a cast of animal characters that work in, and frequent, a bistro called Cafž Courgette. Led by a fat-cat head chef named Goulash, the program, comprised of more than 20 approximately five-minute episodes, teaches kids how to prepare simple food dishes, like grilled cheese and tuna melt sandwiches. It is aimed at children between the ages of three and seven.
Although plans have not been finalized, Just For Kids is considering publishing a companion cookbook that could be bundled with the video and other cooking-related accessories.
Aimed at a slightly younger audience of two- to five-year-olds, The Toothbrush Family, which is also made up of four- to five-minute episodes, depicts an adventure-filled world as seen through the eyes of Molly and Max, two junior toothbrushes who live with their parents in a toothbrush rack. As they explore the surrounding environment with their friends Flash Fluoride and Suzie Sponge, Max and Molly take their first steps toward becoming responsible toothbrushes.
Describing The Toothbrush Family as a unique product with attractive visuals and delightful characters, Just For Kids president Noel Bloom says, ‘I’ve been looking at animation for years and years-and there’s a lot of product that comes my way-but every once in a while something like this comes along and it really stands out.
‘I think it’s excellent product and I’m confident the public will like it. It’s just a matter of getting the shelf space out there that it deserves,’ he says, admitting that gaining widespread retail penetration for the low-key titles is likely to be a challenge.
The rental release date for Ketchup is June 15, and the street date is June 30. The Toothbrush Family will be released in two separate volumes later in the summer.
The sell-through price for each video is $19.95, both with a running time of approximately 95 minutes. The titles will be released in clamshell packaging.